Strike Force Hits Hard at Massive Medicare Fraud


Last month, the Federal Medicare Strike Force charged 111 defendants in nine states for their alleged participation in fraud schemes that reportedly cost Medicare almost a quarter billion dollars. Last month’s sweep resulted from the Justice Department’s and Health and Human Services’ work with the FBI, the HHS inspector general, and various state and local law enforcement officials. It represents the largest federal takedown to date of health-care fraud to date.

The schemes targeted by the Strike Force involved patient recruiters, who sought out Medicare beneficiaries who were willing to provide their Social Security Numbers and Medicare information. Recruiters allegedly induced beneficiaries to disclose their personal information with promises of free medical services or durable medical equipment. Recruiters were paid by health care professionals or health care facilities based on the amount of usable data they collected.

Healthcare professionals then used the data to bill for services or equipment that were not medically necessary or were never provided to the patient. The healthcare provider billed the bogus services to Medicare and pocketed the payments. In some cases, conspirators made tens of millions of dollars for unnecessary or undelivered medical care.

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